Engineered and developed in Germany, each Dahle Professional Shredder carries with it the quality synonymous with the Dahle name.
Quick-Reference Answers

Frequently Asked Questions- Shredders

We understand that selecting the right paper shredder to fit your needs can be difficult. With many things to consider, the options can seem overwhelming. At Dahle, we receive many questions on the performance and capabilities of our shredders. To help answer some of your questions we have compiled a list of the ones we are asked most frequently. For additional information, you can contact Dahle Customer Relations at (800) 995-1379.

Need help selecting a shredder? Try our Shredder Selectors

General Questions

Why do I need a shredder?

To prevent sensitive personal and business information from falling into the wrong hands and to protect your company against liability. Documents found in the trash are not legally protected so they’re fair game to individuals looking to find out more information about you or your business. This explains the rapid increase in Identity Theft and Industrial Espionage. New security laws require that confidential medical information and consumer credit information must be properly destroyed before it is discarded. The best way to destroy sensitive information is to shred it securely with a Dahle Shredder.

What distinguishes Dahle machines from other shredder manufacturers?

Dahle shredders are German engineered for innovation, quality, and durability. Manufactured using the latest technology and finest materials, each component is assembled with precision from over 20 years of shredder experience. Dahle oil-free machines use a unique cylinder design that reduces jams, shreds faster, and are guaranteed to last a lifetime. We also designed the world’s first shredder with dust filtration - DAHLE CleanTEC®. Other components such as rubber shock mounts and a thermally protected motor result in peace of mind knowing your Dahle shredder will provide many years of trouble-free operation. For more information, download our Dahle Advantage sheet.

What types of documents should I shred?

Any paper that contains information you would not like others to see should be destroyed. This could include personal information on credit card or bank statements and tax returns, and business information such as accounting records, patient medical information and personnel files.

Why should I buy a shredder when I can use a shredding service?

Mobile shredding services are a never-ending expense that experiences constant increases in wages, fuel, and equipment maintenance. These increases eventually get passed on to their customers (you) every year. There’s also the risk that sensitive documents waiting for pick-up accumulate unattended making them vulnerable to theft.

For more information on the differences in house versus mobile shredder services, please read our Benefits of Shredding Your Own Documents sheet.

We only have a certain amount of dollars to spend on a paper shredder. What would you recommend?

You should always buy a shredder based on your shredding needs and keep in mind the long-term cost if sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. Dahle shredders will provide years of reliable performance that will pay back your investment over time.

I don’t want a machine in our office that makes a lot of noise. Do you have a quiet shredder?

Most noise is caused by vibration from the cutting mechanism. Dahle has addressed this concern by installing rubber shock mounts that support the cutting cylinder compartment and help reduce noise.

What are High Security Shredders and how do I know if I need one?

High Security Shredders offer the greatest level of security and the smallest particle size. All Dahle High Security Shredders exceed the standards set forth by the NSA/CSS 02-01 standard for the destruction of Top Secret COMSEC documents. If you are a federal, state government or a military or DOD entity you may be required to meet these standards for document destruction.

What is the benefit of using Dahle shred bags as opposed to store-bought trash bags?

Dahle Shred Bags are designed specifically to fit your Dahle shredder. These bags feature gusseted sides that expand and ensure your bag will hold the maximum amount of waste possible.


What are some factors to consider when purchasing a shredder?

There are a lot of important considerations when selecting a shredder including the number of users, shredding volume, and security level. Please visit our Shredder Selection Guide which will walk you through the most important factors and offer shredder recommendations that suit your needs. For a more detailed evaluation, contact a Customer Relations Specialist at (800) 995-1379.

What do most people overlook when they purchase a shredder?

Most people forget to think about the anticipated growth of their company. Will the shredder you buy today be sufficient to handle your demand in three or five years? If you buy a shredder that you can grow in to, you’ll save on machine wear and tear and always have enough capacity.

Can a Dahle shredder destroy staples and paper clips?

Most Dahle shredder models can accommodate paper that has been stapled or has paper clips still attached. Shredders with a security level of P-6 & P-7 are not designed for staples or clips because of the very small shred size – these should be removed before shredding.

What are security levels?

Security levels are used mainly by the Government to designate how difficult a document is to reassemble after it has been shredded. These levels are directly related to the shredded particle size. The smaller the shreds the higher the security level. Currently, Level P-7 is the highest security level and known as the NSA/CSS 02-01 standard for the destruction of Top Secret COMSEC documents.

The most popular security level for businesses and organizations is P-4 which is has a shred size that is adequate for secure everyday shredding.

We have 25 people that will be using the shredder. Should we buy several smaller shredders or one large shredder?

In most cases, a Dahle Department Shredder will hold up better in offices where there is a high volume of use. They have higher sheet capacities for more efficient shredding and are built for heavy use. However, if you have a shredding policy in place, having shredders easily accessible to each employee will help with compliance. If you need assistance choosing the right shredder, visit our Shredder Selection Guide to find recommendations.

Oil-Free Shredders

I thought all shredders needed oiling to work properly. What makes Dahle oil-free shredders different?

Dahle’s oil-free cutting cylinders have a unique design that uses 3 points of contact to pull the paper straight through to prevent jams. The aggressive teeth provide additional shredding power without the aid of oil for peak performance.

Which Dahle shredder models are oil-free?

All Deskside and Auto-Feed shredders are oil-free as well as most commercial models in all categories except High Security. The product descriptions will indicate “oil-free" for these machines.

What are the benefits of choosing an oil-free model?

Because you never need to oil these machines, they are easier and cleaner to maintain, save you money on supplies, and have a lower MSRP than other comparable models.

Will it harm my Dahle oil-free shredder if I do oil it?

You will not damage your shredder if you use Dahle Shredder Oil – oiling is optional on these models and won’t affect performance.

Dahle CleanTEC®

What is DAHLE CleanTEC®?

DAHLE CleanTEC® shredders are the most technologically advanced ever developed with the world's first integrated dust filtration system. Protection begins by trapping dust in the sealed internal system where particles are forced into the specialized filter. This unique system removes 98% of fine dust particles before they reach the air you breathe to support a healthier, cleaner work environment.

Why would a shredder need an air filtration system?

Fine dust is considered indoor air pollution and electronic devices such as printers, copiers, fax machines, and shredders produce dust that is fine enough to enter the lungs. DAHLE CleanTEC® shredders reduce your exposure to this harmful dust by 98% with its specialized filtration system.

What type of dust does the DAHLE CleanTEC® shredder collect?

The DAHLE CleanTEC® shredder collects fine dust or particulate matter classified with a minimum particle size of .01mm to .001mm in diameter. For reference, the average human hair has a diameter of .1mm.

Why is fine dust considered harmful?

These tiny particles cannot be seen and are significantly smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The smaller the dust particles the deeper they penetrate your body's respiratory system.

What are some of the symptoms of fine dust exposure?

Symptoms of prolonged exposure to fine dust include sinus and respiratory irritation, sore throat, headaches, and general discomfort.

What type of filter does a DAHLE CleanTEC® Shredder use?

DAHLE CleanTEC® Shredders use a specialized 3-ply broad-spectrum nonwoven filter that is fully recyclable. Produced by Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, this filter permanently traps up to 98% of the fine dust produced.

Service Questions

How do I set up my new Dahle Shredder?

To help you get your new shredder up and running, use the Shredder Quick Start Guide that you will find inside the cabinet of your shredder. If you need a replacement guide, you can download a copy here.

Find videos for unboxing and setting up your Professional and CleanTEC® models here

Can I plug my shredder into an extension cord or power strip if an outlet is not available?

Your shredder must be plugged directly into a wall outlet to receive the proper voltage for operation. Using a power strip can damage your shredder and will void the warranty.

What are shipping bolts and how do I remove them?

To protect your shredder during transport, the cutting head is secured in place with shipping/transport bolts. For removal, open the shredder door & remove the suspended waste bag. Then locate the two (or three) recessed shipping bolts inside the cabinet, directly under the cutting head, and remove them. A hex key (Allen Wrench) is included with your shredder for this purpose.

Do you have any technical information regarding your shredder oil?

The technical information in regards to the chemical properties of Dahle shredder oil can be found on our Safety Data Sheet.

How often should my Dahle shredder be oiled?

Most current Dahle shredder models are oil-free, requiring no manual lubrication for peak performance. The higher security models with a P-5, P-6, and P-7 Security Level include automatic oilers that need the oil tank refilled as needed. >br> >br> If you are uncertain whether your model needs to be manually oiled, please contact a Technical Service Representative at (800) 995-1379.

Can I use WD-40 to oil my Dahle shredder?

Properly oiling a shredder is essential to prevent jamming of the cutting mechanism and ensure the machine is shredding to capacity. WD-40 is a penetrating oil that can cause the paper to stick together and ultimately jam the cutting mechanism. Dahle Shredder Oil is the optimal choice. It is specially formulated to work with our shredders and offers a high cling value with low dust retention.

How can I get replacement parts for my shredder?

Dahle keeps a large number of parts for each machine in their inventory. In most cases, parts can be shipped the next day if the order is placed in the morning. Please contact your Dahle shredder dealer or Dahle directly at (800) 995-1379 to place an order.

What does the warranty cover on your shredders?

Dahle guarantees its paper shredders to be free from manufacturing defects (materials/workmanship). Please visit the Dahle Warranty Information page for details.

Who should I contact if I need a warranty repair or my shredder needs service?

Please contact Dahle's Technical Service Department at (800) 995-1379.


What’s the best way to purchase a Dahle shredder?

Dahle has an extensive network of authorized dealers. They can be found by an internet search for the product you need or you may contact a Dahle Customer Relations Specialist for assistance at (800) 995-1379.

How can I purchase supplies for my Dahle Shredder?

Your authorized Dahle shredder dealer should be able to order supplies for you. If you have problems, contact a Customer Relations Specialist at (800) 995-1379. We have an extensive dealer network and will help you find a dealer that has the item you need.

How do I become a dealer?

Please visit our Join Our Team page to apply.

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